Social networking the employment relationship in an online age

Social Media and the Employment Relationship, WeirFoulds

social networking the employment relationship in an online age

Online social networks (OSNs) provide employees and job applicants with a . disparagement, or disruption of employer-employee relations,' or where he brings sex, age, or disability - were being systematically refused by employers who. Business people are increasingly using social network sites (SNS) through corporate by different members of society, including people of all ages and social classes. The emergence of SNS has changed the employer-employee relationship. This means employees have online access to information about HR issues. Download Citation on ResearchGate | Invasion of the Social Networks: Blurring the Line between Personal Life and the Employment Relationship | Over This article also examines rights of employers to access employee online .. an employee's privacy in this interconnected, electronic-communication age, one in which.

Employers should bear in mind, as a starting point, that freedom of expression is a fundamental human right in accordance with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act — everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.

social networking: the employment relationship in an online age

However, the rights of freedom of expression and privacy are subject to justifiable limitations. The situation is a little more difficult when it comes to social media.

social networking the employment relationship in an online age

However, that is not to say that there is no degree of overlap between the use by employees of such sites for their own benefit and use for the benefit of their employer. For example, it is common for employees to use forums such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to build their own professional reputation, bring in career opportunities and generally to network in their industry.

Conflicts of interest can arise between an employer and its employees over the use of such platforms. This can range from questions of who owns the interest in the social media platform, such as business and industry contacts, as well as whether the employer can legitimately control what the employee posts on those sites and discipline them for posts that are inappropriate.

Even if an employee inappropriately uses work time to manage their account, this is not usually seen as giving the employer the right to claim a proprietary interest in the account.

Using Social Media to Develop a Personal Brand

Further, while an employee will often list their employer on the site in question, a person is always entitled to say who they work for and who they have worked for in the past. For the employer to have a reasonable argument that it has proprietary interests in a social media account, the issue ought to be front-footed and agreed with the employee from the outset of employment.

When social networking and employment collide

Inappropriate use of social media platforms — what can an employer do? In addition to any contractual or policy requirements, an employee also owes obligations of good faith, fidelity and confidentiality at common law, which require him or her to act in the best interests of the employer.

social networking the employment relationship in an online age

Ms Adams had abused her co-workers and an employee at another medical communications centre during working hours. Unable to let go of her concerns, she continued that abuse on Facebook and by text message outside her working day.

Ms Adams was dismissed for serious misconduct following a complaint by her colleague. Ms Adams argued that her dismissal was unjustified. In many ways her actions outside of work via text with the non-WFAS employee witness and by Facebook with Mr [R] were more serious because they showed that her reactions to work incidents were not left at work, but rather she decided to continue the issues in what she believed to be a private forum.

The IPPA does include some exceptions, which permit an employer to: Request or require an employee to disclose log-in information for an electronic communication device paid for in whole or in part by the employer.

Conduct an investigation or require an employee to cooperate in an investigation under certain limited circumstances. Social media has blurred the lines between professional and personal life. The First Amendment guarantees free speech rights, but it is not without limits. This is true both online and offline.

If an employee can show that comments made through social media involve a matter of public concern, courts will evaluate whether the speech: Impairs discipline or harmony among co-workers.

social networking the employment relationship in an online age

Has a detrimental impact on close working relationships for which personal loyalty and confidence are necessary. Social networking by employees - when they become Facebook friends, for example - poses risks for employers.

Indeed, many employment cases involve allegation of social media being used as a vehicle for harassing a coworker or other individual, and employers can be found liable for such activity.

Social Media and the Employment Relationship

Accordingly, public employers should discourage employees from discussing their coworkers on social media. Here are a few principles to keep in mind: A vague, overly broad policy opens the door to liability, and will be difficult for employees to comply with. Constitution and state and federal statutes, such as the NLRA in the case of private employers and the PERA in the case of public employers in Michiganprotect a range of speech from regulation.